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Kashmir Conflict
Kashmir region 2004.jpg
India claims the entire erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir based on an instrument of accession signed in 1947. Pakistan claims Jammu and Kashmir based on the majority Muslim population of the state, while China claims the Shaksam Valley and Aksai Chin.
Date22 October 1947 – ongoing
(74 years, 7 months and 4 days)

Ongoing conflict



File:PakistanRangers.jpg Pakistan Rangers
Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg Pakistan Army

 India Flag of India.svgBorder Security Force

Flag of Indian Army.svg Indian Army

Kashmir independent.svg Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front
Flag of Jihad.svg Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami
Flag of Jihad.svg Lashkar-e-Taiba
Jaishi-e-Mohammed.svg Jaish-e-Mohammed
Flag of Jihad.svg Hizbul Mujahideen
Harakat flag.png Harkat-ul-Mujahideen
Flag of Jihad.svg Al-Badr
Supported by:

Commanders and leaders

Flag of the Pakistani Army.svg Lt Gen Muhammad Haroon Aslam

Flag of Pakistan.svg Nisar Ali Khan

Flag of Indian Army.svg General Bikram Singh
Flag of Indian Army.svg Lt Gen P C Bhardwaj
Ensign of the Indian Air Force.svg ACM N.A.K. Browne

Flag of India.svg Pranay Sahay

Kashmir independent.svg Amanullah Khan
Flag of Jihad.svg Hafiz Muhammad Saeed
Jaishi-e-Mohammed.svg Maulana Masood Azhar
Flag of Jihad.svg Sayeed Salahudeen
Harakat flag.png Fazlur Rehman Khalil
Harakat flag.png Farooq Kashmiri
Flag of Jihad.svg Arfeen Bhai (until 1998)

Flag of Jihad.svg Bakht Zameen
617,000 active personnel 1,325,000 active personnel 325-850
Casualties and losses
~16,000 killed ~10,000 killed ~20,000 killed
~40,000 civillians killed

The Kashmir conflict (Hindi language: कश्मीर विवाद, Urdu language: مسئلۂ کشمیر‎  — Masʾala-ē Kašmīr) is a territorial dispute between the Government of India, Kashmiri insurgent groups and the Government of Pakistan over control of the Kashmir region. While an inter-state dispute over Kashmir has existed between India and Pakistan since the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 an internal conflict between Kashmiri insurgents (some favouring Kashmiri accession to Pakistan, and some favouring Kashmir's complete independence.[2]) and the Government of India has constituted the main conflict and source of violence in the region since 2002.[3]

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, including the Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1947, 1965 and 1999 and since 1984 the two countries have also been involved in several skirmishes over control of the Siachen Glacier. India claims the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir and as of 2010, administers approximately 43% of the region, including most of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, Ladakh, and the Siachen Glacier. India's claims are contested by Pakistan, which controls approximately 37% of Kashmir, namely Azad Kashmir and the northern areas of Gilgit Baltistan.[4][5]

The roots of the conflict between the Kashmiri insurgents and the Indian Government are tied to a dispute over local autonomy.[6] Democratic development was limited in Kashmir until the late 1970s and by 1988 many of the democratic reforms provided by the Indian Government had been reversed and non-violent channels for expressing discontent were limited and caused a dramatic increase in support for insurgents advocating violent secession from India.[6] In 1987, a disputed State election[7] created a catalyst for the insurgency when it resulted in some of the state's legislative assembly members forming armed insurgent groups.[8][9][10] In July 1988 a series of demonstrations, strikes and attacks on the Indian Government began the Kashmir Insurgency which during the 1990s escalated into the most important internal security issue in India.

The turmoil in Jammu and Kashmir has resulted in thousands of deaths,[11] but has become less deadly in recent years.[12][13] There have been protest movements in Indian Administered Kashmir since 1989. The movements were created to voice Kashmir's disputes and grievances with the Indian government, specifically the Indian Military.[12][13] Elections held in 2008 were generally regarded as fair by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, had a high voter turnout in spite of calls by militants for a boycott, and led to the pro-India Jammu & Kashmir National Conference forming the government in the state.[14][15] According to Voice of America, many analysts have interpreted the high voter turnout in this election as a sign that the people of Kashmir have endorsed Indian rule in the state.[16] However Sajjad Lone, a prominent separatist leader in Kashmir, claims that "the high turnout should not be taken as a sign that Kashmiris no longer want independence.[16] In 2009 and 2010 unrest erupted again.


Early history

According to folk etymology, the name "Kashmir" means "desiccated land" (from the Sanskrit: Ka = water and shimeera = desiccate). In the Rajatarangini, a history of Kashmir written by Kalhana in the mid-12th century, it is stated that the valley of Kashmir was formerly a lake. According to Hindu mythology, the lake was drained by the saptarishi or sage, Kashyapa, son of Marichi, son of Brahma, by cutting the gap in the hills at Baramulla (Varaha-mula). When Kashmir had been drained, Kashyapa asked Brahmans to settle there. This is still the local tradition, and in the existing physical condition of the country, we may see some ground for the story which has taken this form. The name of Kashyapa is by history and tradition connected with the draining of the lake, and the chief town or collection of dwellings in the valley was called Kashyapa-pura, which has been identified with Kaspapyros of Hecataeus (apud Stephanus of Byzantium) and Kaspatyros of Herodotus (3.102, 4.44).[17] Kashmir is also believed to be the country meant by Ptolemy's Kaspeiria.[18]

However an earlier and well known recorded reference can be found in the writings of a Tibetan Buddhist monk in the 6th Century. Hsien Tsang referred to a state called 'Kash-mi-lo' that had existed in the 1st century.

In the 18th century, Kashmir was ruled by the Pashtun Durrani Empire. In 1819, Kashmir was conquered by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh. Following the First Anglo-Sikh War in 1845 and 1846, Kashmir was first ceded by the Treaty of Lahore to the East India Company, and shortly after sold by the Treaty of Amritsar to Gulab Singh, Raja of Jammu, who thereafter was given the title Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir. From then until the Partition of India in 1947, Kashmir was ruled by the Hindu Maharajas of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, although the majority of the population were Muslim, except in the Jammu and Ladakh region.

Partition and dispute

In 1947, British rule in India ended with the creation of two new nations: the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan, while British suzerainty over the 562 Indian princely states ended. According to the Indian Independence Act 1947, "the suzerainty of His Majesty over the Indian States lapses, and with it, all treaties and agreements in force at the date of the passing of this Act between His Majesty and the rulers of Indian States",[19] so the states were left to choose whether to join India or Pakistan or to remain independent. Jammu and Kashmir, the largest of the princely states, had a predominantly Muslim population, while having a Hindu ruler (Maharaja Hari Singh.) On partition Pakistan expected Kashmir to be annexed to it.

In October 1947, Muslim revolutionaries in western Kashmir[20] and Pakistani tribals from Dir entered Kashmir, intending to liberate it from Dogra rule. Unable to withstand the invasion, the Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession on 25 October 1947[21] that was accepted by the government of India on 27 October 1947.[22][23]

Indo-Pakistani War of 1947

After rumours that the Maharaja supported the annexation of Kashmir by India, militant Muslim revolutionaries from western Kashmir[20] and Pakistani tribesmen made rapid advances into the Baramulla sector. Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir asked the government of India to intervene. However, India and Pakistan had signed an agreement of non-intervention. Although tribal fighters from Pakistan had entered Jammu and Kashmir, there was no iron-clad legal evidence to unequivocally prove that Pakistan was officially involved.[citation needed] It would have been illegal for India to unilaterally intervene in an open, official capacity unless Jammu and Kashmir officially joined the Union of India, at which point it would be possible to send in its forces and occupy the remaining parts.

The Maharaja desperately needed military assistance when the Pakistani tribals reached the outskirts of Srinagar. Before their arrival into Srinagar, India argued that the Maharaja must complete negotiations for ceding Jammu and Kashmir to India in exchange for receiving military aid. The agreement which ceded Jammu and Kashmir to India was signed by the Maharaja and Lord Mountbatten of Burma.[5] In Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference volunteers worked with the Indian Army to drive out the Pakistanis.[24]


The Instrument of Accession of Kashmir to India was accepted by Viceroy Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

The resulting war over Kashmir, the First Kashmir War, lasted until 1948, when India moved the issue to the UN Security Council. Sheikh Abdullah was not in favour of India seeking UN intervention because he was sure the Indian Army could free the entire State of invaders.[24] The UN had previously passed resolutions for setting up monitoring of the conflict in Kashmir. Following the set-up of the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNCIP), the UN Security Council passed Resolution 47 on 21 April 1948. The resolution imposed an immediate cease-fire and called on the Government of Pakistan 'to secure the withdrawal from the state of Jammu and Kashmir of tribesmen and Pakistani nationals not normally resident therein who have entered the state for the purpose of fighting.' It also asked Government of India to reduce its forces to the minimum strength, after which the circumstances for holding a plebiscite should be put into effect 'on the question of Accession of the state to India or Pakistan.'[25] However, both India and Pakistan failed to arrive at a Truce agreement due to differences in interpretation of the procedure for and extent of demilitarisation one of them being whether the Azad Kashmiri army is to be disbanded during the truce stage or the Plebiscite stage.[26]

In November 1948, The Indian and Pakistani governments agreed to hold the plebiscite, but Pakistan did not withdraw its troops from Kashmir, thus violating the conditions for holding the plebiscite.[27] In addition, the Indian Government distanced itself from its commitment to hold a plebiscite.[27] India proposed that Pakistan withdraw all its troops first, calling it a precondition for a plebiscite. Pakistan rejected on the grounds that the Kashmiris may not vote freely given the presence of Indian army and Sheikh Abdullah's friendship with the Indian Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. However, Pakistan proposed simultaneous withdrawal of all troops followed by a plebiscite under international auspices, which India rejected.[28] Hence Pakistan didn't withdraw its forces unilaterally[29] In addition, the Indian Government distanced itself from its commitment to hold a plebiscite.[27] Over the next several years, the UN Security Council passed four new resolutions, revising the terms of Resolution 47 to include a synchronous withdrawal of both Indian and Pakistani troops from the region, per the recommendations of General Andrew McNaughton. To this end, UN arbitrators put forward 11 different proposals for the demilitarisation of the region. All of these were accepted by Pakistan, but rejected by the Indian government.[30] The resolutions were passed by United Nations Security Council under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter.[31] Resolutions passed under Chapter VI of the UN charter are considered non-binding and have no mandatory enforceability, as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII.[32]

Sino-Indian War

In 1962, troops from the People's Republic of China and India clashed in territory claimed by both. China won a swift victory in the war, resulting in the Chinese annexation of the region called Aksai Chin, which has continued since then. Another smaller area, the Trans-Karakoram, was demarcated as the Line of Control (LOC) between China and Pakistan, although some of the territory on the Chinese side is claimed by India to be part of Kashmir. The line that separates India from China in this region is known as the "Line of Actual Control".[33]

1965 and 1971 wars

In 1965 and 1971, heavy fighting broke out again between India and Pakistan. The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 resulted in the defeat of Pakistan and the Pakistani military's surrender in East Pakistan, leading to the creation of Bangladesh. The Simla Agreement was signed in 1972 between India and Pakistan. By this treaty, both countries agreed to settle all issues by peaceful means using mutual discussion in the framework of the UN Charter.

1989 popular insurgency and militancy

In the years since 1990, the Kashmiri Muslims and the Indian government have conspired to abolish the complexities of Kashmiri civilization. The world it inhabited has vanished: the state government and the political class, the rule of law, almost all the Hindu inhabitants of the valley, alcohol, cinemas, cricket matches, picnics by moonlight in the saffron fields, schools, universities, an independent press, tourists and banks. In this reduction of civilian reality, the sights of Kashmir are redefined: not the lakes and Mogul gardens, or the storied triumphs of Kashmiri agriculture, handicrafts and cookery, but two entities that confront each other without intermediary: the mosque and the army camp.

— British journalist James Buchan[34]

In 1989, a widespread popular and armed insurgency[35][36] started in Kashmir. After the 1987 State legislative assembly election, some of the results were disputed. This resulted in the formation of militant wings after the election and was the beginning of the Mujahadeen insurgency, which continues to this day.[37] India contends that the insurgency was largely started by Afghan mujahadeen who entered the Kashmir valley following the end of the Soviet-Afghan War.[38] Yasin Malik, a leader of one faction of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front, was one of the Kashmiris to organise militancy in Kashmir, along with Ashfaq Majid Wani and Farooq Ahmad Dar (alias Bitta Karatay). Since 1995, Malik has renounced the use of violence and calls for strictly peaceful methods to resolve the dispute. He developed differences with one of the senior leaders, Farooq Siddiqui (alias Farooq Papa), for shunning the demand for an independent Kashmir and trying to cut a deal with the Indian Prime Minister. This resulted in a spilt in which Bitta Karatay, Salim Nanhaji, and other senior comrades joined Farooq Papa.[39][40] Pakistan claims these insurgents are Jammu and Kashmir citizens, and are rising up against the Indian army in an independence movement. Amnesty International accused security forces in Indian-controlled Kashmir of exploiting the Public Safety Act that enables them to "hold prisoners without trial". The group argues that the law, which allows security to detain individuals for as many as two years "without presenting charges, violating prisoners' human rights".[41][42] In 2011, the state human right commission said it had evidence that 2,156 bodies had been buried in 40 graves over the last 20-year.[42] The authorities deny such accusations. The security forces say the unidentified dead are militants who may have originally come from outside India. They also say that many of the missing people have crossed into Pakistan-administered Kashmir to engage in militancy.[42] But according to The state human rights commission, among the identified bodies 574 were those of "disappeared locals", and according to Amnesty International's annual human rights report (2012) it was sufficient for "belying the security forces' claim that they were militants".[43]

India claims these insurgents are Islamic terrorist groups from Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Afghanistan, fighting to make Jammu and Kashmir, a part of Pakistan.[42][44] They claim Pakistan is supplying munitions to the terrorists and training them in Pakistan. India states that the terrorists have been killing many citizens in Kashmir and committing human rights violations. They deny that their own armed forces are responsible for human rights abuses. On a visit to Pakistan in 2006 current Chief Minister of Kashmir Omar Abdullah remarked that foreign militants were engaged in reckless killings and mayhem in the name of religion.[45] Indian government has said militancy is now on the decline.[13]

The Pakistani government calls these insurgents "Kashmiri freedom fighters", and claims that it gives only moral and diplomatic support to these insurgents, though India[46] believes they are Pakistan-supported terrorists from Pakistan Administered Kashmir. In October 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan called the Kashmir separatists, terrorists in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.[47] These comments by Zardari sparked outrage amongst many Kashmiris, some of whom defied a curfew by the Indian army to burn him in effigy.[48]

In 2008, pro-separation leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq told the Washington Post that there has been a "purely indigenous, purely Kashmiri"[12] peaceful protest movement alongside the insurgency in Indian-administered Kashmir since 1989. The movement was created for the same reason as the insurgency; it began with the disputed election of 1987. The Kashmiris have grievances with the Indian government, specifically the Indian Military, which has committed human rights violations, according to the United Nations.[12][13][49]

Al-Qaeda involvement

In a 'Letter to American People' written by Osama bin Laden in 2002, he stated that one of the reasons he was fighting America is because of its support of India on the Kashmir issue.[50][51] While on a trip to Delhi in 2002, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld suggested that Al-Qaeda was active in Kashmir, though he did not have any hard evidence.[52][53] A journalistic investigation by a Christian Science Monitor reporter in 2002 claimed to have unearthed evidence that Al-Qaeda and its affiliates were prospering in Pakistan-administered Kashmir with tacit approval of Pakistan's National Intelligence agency Inter-Services Intelligence.[54] A team of Special Air Service and Delta Force was sent into Indian-administered Kashmir in 2002 to hunt for Osama bin Laden after reports that he was being sheltered by the Kashmiri militant group Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.[55] US officials believed that Al-Qaeda was helping organise a campaign of terror in Kashmir to provoke conflict between India and Pakistan. Their strategy was to force Pakistan to move its troops to the border with India, thereby relieving pressure on Al-Qaeda elements hiding in northwestern Pakistan. US intelligence analysts say Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives in Pakistan-administered Kashmir are helping terrorists they had trained in Afghanistan to infiltrate Indian-administered Kashmir.[56] Fazlur Rehman Khalil, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, signed al-Qaeda's 1998 declaration of holy war, which called on Muslims to attack all Americans and their allies.[57] In 2006 Al-Qaeda claim they have established a wing in Kashmir; this worried the Indian government.[58] Indian Army Lt. Gen. H.S. Panag, GOC-in-C Northern Command, said to reporters that the army has ruled out the presence of Al-Qaeda in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. He said that there no evidence that verifies reports from the media of an Al-Qaeda presence in the state. He ruled out Al-Qaeda ties with the militant groups in Kashmir including Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. However, he stated that they had information about Al Qaeda's strong ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed operational in Pakistan.[59] While on a visit to Pakistan in January 2010, US Defense secretary Robert Gates stated that Al-Qaeda was seeking to destabilise the region and planning to provoke a nuclear war between India and Pakistan.[60]

In June 2011, a US Drone strike killed Ilyas Kashmiri, who was the chief of Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami, a Kashmiri militant group associated with Al-Qaeda.[61][62] Kashmiri was described by Bruce Riedel as a 'prominent' Al-Qaeda member,[63] while others described him as the head of military operations for Al-Qaeda.[64] Waziristan had now become the new battlefield for Kashmiri militants, who were now fighting NATO in support of Al-Qaeda.[65] Ilyas Kashmiri was charged by the US in a plot against Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which was at the center of Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.[66] In April 2012 Farman Ali Shinwari a former member of Kashmiri separatist groups Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami was appointed chief of al-Qaeda in Pakistan.[67]

Conflict in Kargil

Location of conflict.

In mid-1999, insurgents and Pakistani soldiers from Pakistani Kashmir infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir. During the winter season, Indian forces regularly move down to lower altitudes, as severe climatic conditions makes it almost impossible for them to guard the high peaks near the Line of Control. The insurgents took advantage of this and occupied vacant mountain peaks of the Kargil range overlooking the highway in Indian Kashmir that connects Srinagar and Leh. By blocking the highway, they wanted to cut off the only link between the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh. This resulted in a high-scale conflict between the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army.

Fears of the Kargil War turning into a nuclear war provoked the then-United States President Bill Clinton to pressure Pakistan to retreat. Faced with mounting losses of personnel and posts, the Pakistan Army withdrew their remaining troops from the area, ending the conflict. India reclaimed control of the peaks, which they now patrol and monitor all year long.

Reasons behind the dispute

The Kashmir Conflict arises from the Partition of British India in 1947 into modern India and Pakistan. Both the countries have made claims to Kashmir, based on historical developments and religious affiliations of the Kashmiri people. The state of Jammu and Kashmir, which lies strategically in the north-west of the subcontinent, bordering Afghanistan and China, was a princely state ruled by Maharaja Hari Singh under the paramountcy of British India. In geographical and legal terms, the Maharaja could have joined either of the two new Dominions. Although urged by the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten of Burma, to determine the future of his state before the transfer of power took place, Singh demurred. In October 1947, incursions by Pakistan took place leading to a war, as a result of which the state of Jammu and Kashmir remains divided between the two countries.

Administered by Area Population % Muslim % Hindu % Buddhist % Other
India Kashmir valley ~4 million 95% 4%
Jammu ~3 million 30% 66% 4%
Ladakh ~0.25 million 46% (Shia) 50% 3%
Pakistan Northern Areas ~1 million 99%
Azad Kashmir ~2.6 million 100%
China Aksai Chin
  • Statistics from the BBC report. In Depth *There are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian-administered Kashmir in Pakistan administered Kashmir and Pakistan UNHCR
  • A minimum of 506,000 people in Indian Administered Kashmir valley are internally displaced due to militancy in Kashmir about half of which are Hindu pandits CIA
  • Muslims are the majority in Poonch, Rajouri, Kishtwar, and Doda districts in Jammu region. Shia Muslims make up the majority in Kargil district in Ladakh region.
  • India does not accept the two-nation theory and considers that Kashmir, despite being a Muslim-majority state, is in many ways an "integral part" of secular India.[68]

Two-thirds of the former princely state (known as the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir), comprising Jammu, the Kashmir Valley, and the sparsely populated Buddhist area of Ladakh are controlled by India; one-third is administered by Pakistan. The latter includes a narrow strip of land called Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas, compromising the Gilgit Agency, Baltistan, and the former kingdoms of Hunza and Nagar. Attempts to resolve the dispute through political discussions were unsuccessful. In September 1965, war broke out again between Pakistan and India. The United Nations called for another cease-fire, and peace was restored once again following the Tashkent Declaration in 1966, by which both nations returned to their original positions along the demarcated line. After the 1971 war and the creation of independent Bangladesh, under the terms of the 1972 Simla Agreement between Prime Minister Indira Gandhi of India and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan, it was agreed that neither country would seek to alter the cease-fire line in Kashmir, which was renamed as the Line of Control, "unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations".

Numerous violations of the Line of Control have occurred, including the incursions by insurgents and Pakistani armed forces at Kargil leading to the Kargil war. There are also sporadic clashes on the Siachen Glacier, where the Line of Control is not demarcated and both countries maintain forces at altitudes rising to 20,000 ft (6,100 m), with the Indian forces serving at higher altitudes.

Indian view

Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession in October 1947 under which he acceded the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India.

India has officially stated that it believes that Kashmir is an integral part of India, though the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, stated after the 2010 Kashmir Unrest that his government was willing to grant autonomy to the region within the purview of Indian constitution if there is consensus[by whom?] on this issue.[69] The Indian viewpoint is succinctly summarised by Ministry of External affairs, Government of India[70][71] —

  • India holds that the Instrument of Accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India, signed by Maharaja Hari Singh (erstwhile ruler of the State) on 25 October 1947[72][73] & executed on 27 October 1947[73] between the ruler of Kashmir and the Governor General of India was a legal act, was completely valid in terms of the Government of India Act (1935), Indian Independence Act (1947) and international law and was total and irrevocable.[71]
  • The Constituent assembly of Jammu and Kashmir had unanimously ratified the Maharaja's Instrument of Accession to India and had adopted a constitution for the state that called for a perpetual merger of Jammu and Kashmir with the Union of India. India claims that the Constituent assembly was a representative one, and that its views were those of the Kashmiri people at the time.[74][75]
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 1172 tacitly accepts India's stand regarding all outstanding issues between India and Pakistan and urges the need to resolve the dispute through mutual dialogue and does not call for a plebiscite.[76]
  • United Nations Security Council Resolution 47 cannot be implemented since Pakistan failed to withdraw its forces from Kashmir, which was the first step in implementing the resolution.[29] India is also of the view that Resolution 47 is obsolete, since the geography and demographics of the region have been permanently altered.[77] The resolution was passed by United Nations Security Council under Chapter VI of the United Nations Charter. It is therefore non-binding and has no mandatory enforceability, as opposed to the resolutions passed under Chapter VII.[31][32]
  • India does not accept the two-nation theory that forms the basis of Pakistan and considers that Kashmir, despite being a Muslim-majority state, is in many ways an "integral part" of secular India.[68]
  • The state of Jammu and Kashmir was provided significant autonomy in Article 370 of the Constitution of India.[78]
  • All differences between India and Pakistan, including Kashmir, need to be settled through bilateral negotiations as agreed to by the two countries when they signed the Simla Agreement on 2 July 1972.[79]

Additional Indian viewpoints regarding the broader debate over the Kashmir conflict include —

  • In a diverse country like India, disaffection and discontent are not uncommon. Indian democracy has the necessary resilience to accommodate genuine grievances within the framework of India's sovereignty, unity, and integrity. The Government of India has expressed its willingness to accommodate the legitimate political demands of the people of the state of Kashmir.[70]
  • Insurgency and terrorism in Kashmir is deliberately being fuelled by Pakistan to create instability in the region.[80] The Government of India has repeatedly accused Pakistan of waging a proxy war in Kashmir by providing weapons and financial assistance to terrorist groups in the region.[81][82][83][84]
  • Pakistan is trying to raise anti-India sentiment among the people of Kashmir by spreading false propaganda against India.[85] According to the state government of Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistani radio and television channels deliberately spread "hate and venom" against India to alter Kashmiri opinion.[86]
  • India has asked the United Nations not to leave unchallenged or unaddressed the claims of moral, political, and diplomatic support for terrorism, which were clearly in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. This is a Chapter VII resolution that makes it mandatory for member states to not provide active or passive support to terrorist organisations.[87][88] Specifically, it has pointed out that the Pakistani government continues to support various terrorist organisations, such as Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba, in direct violation of this resolution.[89]
  • India points out reports by human rights organisations condemning Pakistan for the lack of civic liberties in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.[85][90] According to India, most regions of Pakistani Kashmir, especially Northern Areas, continue to suffer from lack of political recognition, economic development, and basic fundamental rights.[91]
  • Karan Singh, the son of the last ruler of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, said that the Instrument of Accession signed by his father was the same as signed by other states. He opined that Kashmir was therefore a part of India, and that its special status granted by Article 370 of the Indian Constitution stemmed from the fact that it had its own constitution.[92]

Pakistani view


Map of Kashmir as drawn by the Government of Pakistan

Pakistan maintains that Kashmir is the "jugular vein of Pakistan"[93] and a currently disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. Pakistan's claims to the disputed region are based on the rejection of Indian claims to Kashmir, namely the Instrument of Accession. Pakistan insists that the Maharaja was not a popular leader, and was regarded as a tyrant by most Kashmiris. Pakistan maintains that the Maharaja used brute force to suppress the population.[94]

Pakistan claims that Indian forces were in Kashmir before the Instrument of Accession was signed with India, and that therefore Indian troops were in Kashmir in violation of the Standstill Agreement, which was designed to maintain the status quo in Kashmir (although India was not signatory to the Agreement, which was signed between Pakistan and the Hindu ruler of Jammu and Kashmir).[95][96]

From 1990 to 1999, some organisations reported that the Indian Armed Forces, its paramilitary groups, and counter-insurgent militias were responsible for the deaths of 4,501 Kashmiri civilians. Also from 1990 to 1999, there were records of 4,242 women between the ages of 7–70 being raped.[97][98] Similar allegations were also made by some human rights organisations.[99]

In short, Pakistan holds that:

  • The popular Kashmiri insurgency demonstrates that the Kashmiri people no longer wish to remain within India. Pakistan suggests that this means that Kashmir either wants to be with Pakistan or independent.[100]
  • According to the two-nation theory, which is one of the theories that is cited for the partition that created India and Pakistan, Kashmir should have been with Pakistan, because it has a Muslim majority.
  • India has shown disregard to the resolutions of the UN Security Council and the United Nations Commission in India and Pakistan by failing to hold a plebiscite to determine the future allegiance of the state.[101]
  • Pakistan has noted the widespread use of extrajudicial killings in Indian-administered Kashmir carried out by Indian security forces while claiming they were caught up in encounters with militants. These encounters are commonplace in Indian-administered Kashmir. The encounters go largely uninvestigated by the authorities, and the perpetrators are spared criminal prosecution.[102][103]

Human rights organisations have strongly condemned Indian troops for widespread rape and murder of innocent civilians while accusing these civilians of being militants.[104][105][106]

  • The Chenab formula was a compromise proposed in the 1960s, in which the Kashmir valley and other Muslim-dominated areas north of the Chenab river would go to Pakistan, and Jammu and other Hindu-dominated regions would go to India.[107]

Chinese view

China states that Aksai Chin is a part of China and does not recognise the addition of Aksai Chin to the Kashmir region.[citation needed]

  • China did not accept the boundaries of the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu, north of the Aksai Chin and the Karakoram that were proposed by the British.[20]
  • China settled its border disputes with Pakistan in the Trans Karakoram Tract in 1963 with the provision that the settlement was subject to the final solution of the Kashmir dispute.[108]

Cross-border troubles

The border and the Line of Control separating Indian and Pakistani Kashmir passes through some exceptionally difficult terrain. The world's highest battleground, the Siachen Glacier, is a part of this difficult-to-man boundary. Even with 200,000 military personnel,[109] India maintains that it is infeasible to place enough men to guard all sections of the border throughout the various seasons of the year. Pakistan has indirectly acquiesced its role in failing to prevent "cross-border terrorism" when it agreed to curb such activities[110] after intense pressure from the Bush administration in mid-2002.

The Government of Pakistan has repeatedly claimed that by constructing a fence along the line of control, India is violating the Shimla Accord. India claims the construction of the fence has helped decrease armed infiltration into Indian-administered Kashmir.

In 2002, Pakistani President and Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf promised to check infiltration into Jammu and Kashmir.

Water dispute

Another reason for the dispute over Kashmir is water. Kashmir is the origin point for many rivers and tributaries of the Indus River basin. The river basin is divided between Pakistan, which has about 60 per cent of the catchment area, India with about 20 per cent, Afghanistan with 5 per cent and around 15 per cent in China (Tibet autonomous region). The river tributaries are the Jhelum and Chenab rivers, which primarily flow into Pakistan, while other branches—the Ravi, Beas, and the Sutlej—irrigate northern India.

The Indus is a river system that sustains communities in both countries India and Pakistan. They both have extensively dammed the Indus River for irrigation of their crops and hydro-electricity systems. In arbitrating the conflict in 1947 Sir Cyril Radcliffe, decided to demarcate the territories as he was unable to give to one or the other the control over the river as it was a main economic resource forth both areas. . The Line of Control (LoC) was recognised as an international border establishing that India would have control over the upper riparian and Pakistan over the lower riparian of Indus and its tributaries. However they might seem separate issues, the Kashmir dispute and the dispute over the water control are somehow related and the fight over the water remains as one of the main problems when establishing good relationships between the two countries.

In 1948, Eugene Black, then president of the World Bank, offered his services to solve the tension around the water control. In the early days of independence, the fact that India was able to shut off the Central Bari Doab Canals at the time of the sowing season, causing significant damage to Pakistan's crops. Nevertheless, military and political clashes over Kashmir in the early years of independence appear to be more about ideology and sovereignty, rather than sharing water resources. But the minister of Pakistan stated the opposite.[111]

The Indus Waters Treaty was signed by both countries in September 1960, giving exclusive rights over the three western rivers of the Indus river system (Jhelum, Chenab and Indus) to Pakistan, and over the three eastern rivers (Sutlej, Ravi and Beas) to India, as long as it does not reduce or delay the supply to Pakistan. India therefore maintains that they are not willing to break the regulation established and they see no more problems with this issue.

Pakistan's relation with militants

India has furnished documentary evidence to the United Nations that these militants are supported by Pakistan, leading to a ban on some terrorist organisations, which Pakistan has yet to enforce.[citation needed] Former President of Pakistan and the ex-chief of Pakistan military Pervez Musharraf, stated in an interview in London, that Pakistani government indeed helped to form underground militant groups and "turned a blind eye" towards their existence.[112]

According to Indian Prime-minister Manmohan Singh, one of the main reasons behind the conflict is Pakistan's "terror-induced coercion". Indian Prime-minister Manmohan Singh stated in a Joint Press Conference with United States President Barack Obama in New Delhi that India is not afraid of resolving all the issues with Pakistan including the kashmir "but it is our request that you cannot simultaneously be talking and at the same time the terror machine is as active as ever before. Once Pakistan moves away from this terror-induced coercion, we will be very happy to engage productively with Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues."[113]

In 2009, the President of Pakistan Asif Zardari asserted at a conference in Islamabad that Pakistan had indeed created Islamic militant groups as a strategic tool for use in its geostrategic agenda and "to attack Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir".[114] Former President of Pakistan and the ex-chief of Pakistan military Pervez Musharraf also stated in an interview that Pakistani government helped to form underground militant groups to fight against Indian troops in Jammu and Kashmir and "turned a blind eye" towards their existence because it wanted to force India to enter negotiations.[112] The British Government have formally accepted that there is a clear connection between Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and three major militant outfits operating in Jammu and Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen.[115][116] The militants are provided with "weapons, training, advice and planning assistance" in Punjab and Kashmir by the ISI which is "coordinating the shipment of arms from the Pakistani side of Kashmir to the Indian side, where Muslim insurgents are waging a protracted war".[117][118]

Throughout the 1990s, the ISI maintained its relationship with extremist networks and militants that it had established during the Afghan war to utilise in its campaign against Indian forces in Kashmir.[119] Joint Intelligence/North (JIN) has been accused of conducting operations in Jammu and Kashmir and also Afghanistan.[120] The Joint Signal Intelligence Bureau (JSIB) provide support with communications to groups in Kashmir.[120] According to Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon both former members of the National Security Council the ISI acted as a "kind of terrorist conveyor belt" radicalising young men in the Madrassas in Pakistan and delivering them to training camps affiliated with or run by Al-Qaeda and from there moving them into Jammu and Kashmir to launch attacks.[121]

Reportedly, about Rs. 24 million are paid out per month by the Inter-Services Intelligence, to fund its activities in Jammu and Kashmir.[122] Pro-Pakistani groups were reportedly favoured over other militant groups.[122] Creation of six militant groups in Kashmir, which included Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), was aided by the ISI.[123][124] According to American Intelligence officials, ISI is still providing protection and help to LeT.[124] The Pakistan Army and ISI also LeT volunteers to surreptitiously penetrate from Pakistan Administrated Kashmir to Jammu and Kashmir.[125]

Indian authorities in past has alleged several times that Pakistan was involved in training and arming underground militant groups to fight Indian forces in Kashmir.[126]

Human rights abuse

Indian administered Kashmir

Claims of human rights abuses have been made against the Indian Armed Forces and the armed insurgents operating in Jammu and Kashmir.[127] Since 1989, over 50,000 and by some reports nearly 100,000 Kashmiris are claimed to have died during the conflict.[128] Some human rights organisations have alleged that Indian Security forces have killed hundreds of Kashmiris by indiscriminate use of force and torture, firing on demonstrations, custodial killings, encounters and detensions.[129][130][131][132] the government of India denied that torture was widespread.[130] It stated that some custodial crimes may have taken place but stated "these are few and far between".[130] According to one human rights report in Kashmir there were more than three hundred cases of "disappearances" since 1990.[133][134][135] State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has found 2,730 bodies buried into unmarked graves scattered all over Kashmir believed to contain the remains of victims of unlawful killings and enforced disappearances by Indian security forces.[136][137][138] SHRC stated that about 574 of these bodies have already been identified as those of disappeared locals.[139] SHRC also accused Indian army of forced labour.[140] According to the cables leaked by website WikiLeaks, US diplomats in 2005 were informed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the use of torture and sexual humiliation against hundreds of Kashmiri detainees by the security forces.[141] The cable said Indian security forces relied on torture for confessions and the human right abuses are believed to be condoned by the Indian government.[142] In 2012, the Jammu and Kashmir State government stripped its State Information Commission (SIC) department of most powers after the commission asked the government to disclose the information about the unmarked graves. This action of the state was reportedly denounced by the former National Chief Information Commissioner.[143] A state government inquiry into 22 Oct 1993 Bijbehara killings, in which the Indian military fired on a procession and killed 40 people and injured 150, found out that the firing by the forces was 'unprovoked' and the claim of the military that it was in retaliation was 'concocted and baseless'. However, the accused are still to be punished.[144]

According to a report of Human rights watch,

"Indian security forces have assaulted civilians during search operations, tortured and summarily executed detainees in custody and murdered civilians in reprisal attacks. Rape most often occurs during crackdowns, cordon-and-search operations during which men are held for identification in parks or schoolyards while security forces search their homes. In these situations, the security forces frequently engage in collective punishment against the civilian population, most frequently by beating or otherwise assaulting residents, and burning their homes. Rape is used as a means of targetting women whom the security forces accuse of being militant sympathizers; in raping them, the security forces are attempting to punish and humiliate the entire community."[145]

The allegation of mass rape incidents as well as forced disappearances are reflected in a Kashmiri short documentary film by an Independent Kashmiri film-maker, the Ocean of Tears produced by a non-governmental non-profit organisation called the Public Service Broadcasting Trust of India and approved by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (India). The film also depicts mass rape incidents of Kunan Poshpora and Shopian as facts alleging that the Indian Scurity Forces are responsible.[146][147] A report from the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) claimed that the seven people who were killed in 2000 by the Indian military, were innocent civilians.[148][149][150] The Indian Army has decided to try the accused in the General Court Martial.[151] It was also reported that the killings that were allegedly committed in "cold-blood" by the Army, were actually in retaliation to the murder of 36 civilians [Sikhs] by militants at Chattisingpora in 2000.[151] The official stance of the Indian Army was that, according to its own investigation, 97% of the reports about the human rights abuse have been found to be "fake or motivated".[152] However, there have been at least one case where civilians were killed in 'fake encounters' by Indian army personnel for cash rewards.[153]

"Our people were killed. I saw a girl tortured with cigarette butts. Another man had his eyes pulled out and his body hung on a tree. The armed separatists used a chainsaw to cut our bodies into pieces. It wasn't just the killing but the way they tortured and killed."

—A crying old Kashmiri Hindu in refugee camps of Jammu told BBC news reporter[154]

The violence was condemned and labelled as ethnic cleansing in a 2006 resolution passed by the United States Congress.[155] It stated that the Islamic terrorists infiltrated the region in 1989 and began an ethnic cleansing campaign to convert Kashmir to a Muslim state. According to the same, since then nearly 400,000 Pandits were either murdered or forced to leave their ancestral homes.[156]

According to Hindu American Foundation report, the rights and religious freedom of Kashmiri Hindus have been severely curtailed since 1989, when there was an organised and systematic campaign by Islamist militants to cleanse Hindus from Kashmir. Less than 4,000 Kashmiri Hindus remain in the valley, reportedly living with daily threats of violence and terrorism.[157]

According to an op-ed published in BBC journal, the emphasis of the movement after 1989, ″soon shifted from nationalism to Islam.″ It also claimed that the minority community of Kashmiri Pandits, who had lived in Kashmir for centuries, were forced to leave their homeland.[154]

The displaced Pandits, many of whom continue to live in temporary refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi, are still unable to safely return to their homeland.[157] The lead in this act of ethnic cleansing was initially taken by the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front and the Hizbul Mujahideen. And all this, according to Indian Media at least, happened at the instigation of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by a group of Kashmiri terrorist element who were trained, armed and motivated by the ISI. Reportedly these type of organisations which subsequently came into existence after having been trained and armed by the ISI, kept the ethnic cleansing going till practically all the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out after having been subjected to numerous indignities and brutalities such as rape of women, torture, forcible seizure of property etc.[158] The separatists in Kashmir deny these allegations. The Indian government is also trying to reinstate the displaced Pandits in Kashmir. Tahir, the district commander of a separatist Islamic group in Kashmir, stated: "We want the Kashmiri Pandits to come back. They are our brothers. We will try to protect them." But the majority of the Pandits, who have been living in pitiable conditions in Jammu, believe that, until insurgency ceases to exist, return is not possible.[154]

Mustafa Kamal, brother of Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, blamed security forces, former Jammu and Kashmir governor Jagmohan and PDP leader Mufti Sayeed for forcing the migration of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley.[159] Jagmohan denies these allegations.[154]

Reports by Indian government state 219 Kashmiri pandits were killed and around 140,000 migrated due to millitancy while over 3000 stayed in the valley [160][161] The local organisation of pandits in Kashmir, Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti claimed that 399 Kashmiri Pandit were killed by insurgents.[162][163]

The CIA has reported that at least 506,000 people from Indian Administered Kashmir are internally displaced, about half of which are Hindu Pandits.[164][165] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights reports that there are roughly 1.5 million refugees from Indian-administered Kashmir, bulk of whom arrived in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and in Pakistan after the situation on the Indian side worsened in 1989 insurgency.[166]

Médecins Sans Frontières conducted a research survey in 2005. The survey states that 11.6% of the interviewees who took part in the study responded that they had been victims of sexual abuse since 1989.[167][168] Some surveys have found that in the Kashmir region itself (where the bulk of separatist and Indian military activity is concentrated), popular perception holds that the Indian Armed Forces are more to blame for human rights violations than the separatist groups. Amnesty International has called on India to "unequivocally condemn enforced disappearances" and to ensure that impartial investigation is conducted on mass graves in its Kashmir region. The Indian state police confirms as many as 331 deaths while in custody and 111 enforced disappearances since 1989.[169][170][171][172] Amnesty International criticised the Indian Military regarding an incident on 22 April 1996, when several armed forces personnel forcibly entered the house of a 32-year-old woman in the village of Wawoosa in the Rangreth district of Jammu and Kashmir. They reportedly molested her 12-year-old daughter and raped her other three daughters, aged 14, 16, and 18. When another woman attempted to prevent the soldiers from attacking her two daughters, she was beaten. Soldiers reportedly told her 17-year-old daughter to remove her clothes so that they could check whether she was hiding a gun. They molested her before leaving the house.[172]

Several international agencies and the UN have reported human rights violations in Indian-administered Kashmir. In a recent press release the OHCHR spokesmen stated "The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is concerned about the recent violent protests in Indian-administered Kashmir that have reportedly led to civilian casualties as well as restrictions to the right to freedom of assembly and expression."[49] A 1996 Human Rights Watch report accuses the Indian military and Indian-government backed paramilitaries of "committ[ing] serious and widespread human rights violations in Kashmir."[173] One such alleged massacre occurred on 6 January 1993 in the town of Sopore. TIME Magazine described the incident as such: "In retaliation for the killing of one soldier, paramilitary forces rampaged through Sopore's market, setting buildings ablaze and shooting bystanders. The Indian government pronounced the event 'unfortunate' and claimed that an ammunition dump had been hit by gunfire, setting off fires that killed most of the victims."[174] There have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army in Kashmir by several human rights organisations.[175][176] Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978:[177][178] Human rights organisations have asked Indian government to repeal[179] the Public Safety Act, since "a detainee may be held in administrative detention for a maximum of two years without a court order."[170]

A soldier guards the roadside checkpoint outside Srinagar International Airport in January 2009.

Many human rights organisations such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch (HRW) have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as "extra-judicial executions", "disappearances", and torture.[171] The "Armed Forces Special Powers Act" grants the military, wide powers of arrest, the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations. Indian officials claim that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when national security is at serious risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, they say, call for extraordinary measures. Human rights organisations have also asked Indian government to repeal[179] the Public Safety Act, since "a detainee may be held in administrative detention for a maximum of two years without a court order."[170] A 2008 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Indian Administered Kashmir was only 'partly free'.[169] A recent report by Amnesty International stated that up to 20,000 people have been detained under a law called AFSPA in Indian-administered Kashmir.[170][171][172][180]

Pakistan administered Kashmir

Azad Kashmir

Claim of religious discrimination and restricting religious freedom in Azad Kashmir have been made against Pakistan.[181] It is also accused of systemic suppression of free spech and demonstrations against the government.[181] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights reported that a number of Islamist militant groups, A number of Islamist militant groups including al-Qaeda, operate from bases in Pakistani-administered Kashmir with the tacit permission of Pakistani intelligence[166][181] And there have been several allegations of human rights abuse.[166]

In 2006, Human rights watch (organisation) accused Pakistani intelligence agency ISI and the military of systemic torture with the purpose of "punishing" errant politicians, political activists and journalists in Azad Kashmir.[182] A report titled "Kashmir: Present Situation and Future Prospects", which was submitted to the European Parliament by Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, was critical of the lack of human rights, justice, democracy, and Kashmiri representation in the Pakistan National Assembly.[183] According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operates in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and is accused of involvement in extensive surveillance, arbitrary arrests, torture, and murder.[181] The 2008 report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees determined that Pakistan-administered Kashmir was 'Not free'.[181] According to Shaukat Ali, chairman of the International Kashmir Alliance, "On one hand Pakistan claims to be the champion of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people, but she has denied the same rights under its controlled parts of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan".[184]

Kashmir herald, a News and Analysis Reporting agency reoprted that on 28 May 1999, the Supreme Court of Pakistan delivered a stinging broadside of Islamabad’s oppressive, undemocratic and colonial subjugation of the Northern Areas of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, including denial to fundamental rights, illegal detention with limited access to justice.".[185] After 2011 elections, The Azad Kashmir (also called PoK or ‘Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’) Prime Minister Sardar Attique Ahmad Khan stated that there were mistakes in the voters list which have raised questions about the credibility of the elections.[186]

It was reported that politically "PoK" (aka Azad Kashmir) is a "replica of Pakistan": Basic Democracy of Ayub Khan and Gen. Zia's Martial Law. In December 1993 the blasphemy laws of Pakistan were extended to the POK. They are ruled directly through a chief executive Lt. Gen. Mohammed Shafiq, appointed by Islamabad with a 26-member Northern Areas Council.[187]

The regime in Muzaffarabad (capital of Azad Kashmir or POK) is one set up by Pakistan in territory it has occupied not acquired by law.[187]

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights reports that the status of women in Pakistani-administered Kashmir is similar to that of women in Pakistan. Women are not granted equal rights under the law, and their educational opportunities and choice of marriage partner remain "circumscribed" in Pakistan-administered kashmir. Domestic violence, forced marriage, and other forms of abuse continue to be issues of concern. In May 2007, the United Nations and other aid agencies temporarily suspended their work after suspected Islamists mounted an arson attack on the home of two aid workers; the organisations had received warnings against hiring women. However, honour killings and rape occur less frequently than in other areas of Pakistan.[166]


The main demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan is a constitutional status to the region as a fifth province of Pakistan.[188][189] However, Pakistan claims that Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be given constitutional status due to Pakistan's commitment to the 1948 UN resolution.[189][190] In 2007, International Crisis Group stated that "Almost six decades after Pakistan's independence, the constitutional status of the Federally Administered Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan), once part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and now under Pakistani control, remains undetermined, with political autonomy a distant dream. The region's inhabitants are embittered by Islamabad's unwillingness to devolve powers in real terms to its elected representatives, and a nationalist movement, which seeks independence, is gaining ground. The rise of sectarian extremism is an alarming consequence of this denial of basic political rights".[191] A two-day conference on Gilgit-Baltistan was held on 8–9 April 2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels under the auspices of the International Kashmir Alliance.[192] Several members of the European Parliament expressed concern over the human rights violation in Gilgit-Baltistan and urged the government of Pakistan to establish democratic institutions and rule of law in the area.[192][193]

In 2009, the Pakistan government implemented an autonomy package for Gilgit-Baltistan which entails rights similar to those of Pakistan’s other provinces.[188] Gilgit-Baltistan thus gains province-like status without actually being conferred such a status constitutionally.[188][190] The direct rule by Islamabad is replaced by an elected legislative assembly and its chief minister.[188][190]

There has been criticism and opposition to this move in Pakistan, India, and Pakistan administrated Kashmir.[194] The move has been dubbed as an eyewash to hide the real mechanics of power, which allegedly are under the direct control of the Pakistani federal government.[195] The package was opposed by Pakistani Kashmiri politicians who claimed that the integration of Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan would undermine their case for the independence of Kashmir from India.[196] 300 activists from Kashmiri groups protested during the first Gilgit-Baltistan legislative assembly elections, with some carrying banners reading "Pakistan's expansionist designs in Gilgit-Baltistan are unacceptable"[189]

In December 2009, activists of nationalist Kashmiri groups staged a protest in Muzaffarabad to condemn the alleged rigging of elections and killing of a 18-year old student.[197]

Map issues

United Nations' map of Jammu and Kashmir

As with other disputed territories, each government issues maps depicting their claims in Kashmir territory, regardless of actual control. Due to India's Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1961, it is illegal in India to exclude all or part of Kashmir in a map (or to publish any map that differs from those of the Survey of India).[198] It is illegal in Pakistan not to include the state of Jammu and Kashmir as disputed territory, as permitted by the United Nations. Non-participants often use the Line of Control and the Line of Actual Control as the depicted boundaries, as is done in the CIA World Factbook, and the region is often marked out in hashmarks, although the Indian government strictly opposes such practices[citation needed]. When Microsoft released a map in Windows 95 and MapPoint 2002, a controversy was raised because it did not show all of Kashmir as part of India as per the Indian claim. All the neutral and Pakistani companies claim to follow the UN's map and over 90% of all maps containing the territory of Kashmir show it as disputed territory.[199]

The boundaries, names, and designations used on the map prepared by the United Nations do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations, the Commonwealth Secretariat, or the publishers concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. There is no intention to define the status of Jammu and/or Kashmir, which has not yet been agreed upon by the parties. A dotted line represents the Line of Control agreed upon by the Republic of India and the Government of Pakistan since 1972. Both parties have not yet agreed upon the final status of the region, and nothing significant has been implemented since the peace process began in 2004.

The Government of Pakistan maintains unprovisionally and unconditionally that the informal accession of Jammu and Kashmir to Pakistan or to the Republic of India remains to be decided by UN plebiscite. It accepts the UN's map of the territory.

The Government of India states that "the external artificial boundaries of India, especially concerning the Kashmir region under its jurisdiction created by a foreign body are neither correct nor authenticated".[citation needed]

Recent developments

India continues to assert their sovereignty or rights over the entire region of Kashmir, while Pakistan maintains that it is a disputed territory. Pakistan argues that the status quo cannot be considered as a solution. Pakistan insists on a UN-sponsored plebiscite. Unofficially, the Pakistani leadership has indicated that they would be willing to accept alternatives such as a demilitarised Kashmir, if sovereignty of Azad Kashmir was to be extended over the Kashmir valley, or the "Chenab" formula, by which India would retain parts of Kashmir on its side of the Chenab river, and Pakistan the other side – effectively re-partitioning Kashmir on communal lines. The problem is that the population of the Pakistan-administered portion of Kashmir is for the most part ethnically, linguistically, and culturally different from the Valley of Kashmir, a part of Indian-administered Kashmir. A partition on the Chenab formula is opposed by some Kashmiri politicians, though some, such as Sajjad Lone, have suggested that the non-Muslim part of Jammu and Kashmir be separated from Kashmir and handed to India. Some political analysts say that the Pakistan state policy shift and mellowing of its aggressive stance may have to do with its total failure in the Kargil War and the subsequent 9/11 attacks. These events put pressure on Pakistan to alter its position on terrorism.[200] Many neutral parties to the dispute have noted that the UN resolution on Kashmir is no longer relevant.[201] The European Union has viewed that the plebiscite is not in Kashmiris' interest.[202] The report notes that the UN conditions for such a plebiscite have not been, and can no longer be, met by Pakistan.[203] The Hurriyat Conference observed in 2003 that a "plebiscite [is] no longer an option".[204] Besides the popular factions that support either parties, there is a third faction which supports independence and withdrawal of both India and Pakistan. These have been the respective stands of the parties for long, and there have been no significant changes over the years. As a result, all efforts to solve the conflict have been futile so far.

In the recent revelations on 24 September 2013 made by the former Indian army chief General V. K. Singh said that, the state politicians of Jammu and Kashmir are being funded by the army secret service to keep the general public at calm and this activity is there since the partition. He also stated that the secret service paid a bribe to a politician to topple the state government which was pushing for AFSPA repeal in 2010.[205][206]

In a 2001 report titled "Pakistan's Role in the Kashmir Insurgency" from the American RAND Corporation, the think tank noted that "the nature of the Kashmir conflict has been transformed from what was originally a secular, locally based struggle (conducted via the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front – JKLF) to one that is now largely carried out by foreign militants and rationalized in pan-Islamic religious terms." Most of the militant organisations are composed of foreign mercenaries, mostly from the Pakistani Punjab.[207] In 2010, with the support of its intelligence agencies, Pakistan has again been 'boosting' Kashmir militants, and recruitment of mujahideen in the Pakistani state of Punjab has increased.[208][209] In 2011, the FBI revealed that Pakistan's spy agency ISI paid millions of dollars into a United States-based non-governmental organisation to influence politicians and opinion-makers on the Kashmir issue and arrested Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai.[210]

The Freedom in the World 2006 report categorised Indian-administered Kashmir as "partly free", and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as well as the country of Pakistan, as "not free".[211] India claims that contrary to popular belief, a large proportion of the Jammu and Kashmir populace wishes to remain with India. A MORI survey found that within Indian-administered Kashmir, 61% of respondents said they felt they would be better off as Indian citizens, with 33% saying that they did not know, and the remaining 6% favouring Pakistani citizenship. However, this support for India was mainly in Ladakh and Jammu regions, not the Kashmir Valley, as only 9% of the respondents from the Kashmir Valley said that they would be better off with India.[212] According to a 2007 poll conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, 87% of respondents in the Kashmir Valley prefer independence over union with India or Pakistan.[213] However, a survey by the Chatham House in both Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir found that support of independence was at 43% and 44% respectively.[214]

The 2005 Kashmir earthquake, which killed over 80,000 people, led to India and Pakistan finalising negotiations for the opening of a road for disaster relief through Kashmir.

Efforts to end the crisis

The 9/11 attacks on the United States resulted in the US government wanting to restrain militancy in the world, including Pakistan. They urged Islamabad to cease infiltrations, which continue to this day, by Islamist militants into Indian-administered Kashmir. In December 2001, a terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament linked to Pakistan, resulted in war threats, massive deployment, and international fears of a nuclear war in the subcontinent.

After intensive diplomatic efforts by other countries, India and Pakistan began to withdraw troops from the international border on 10 June 2002, and negotiations began again.[citation needed] Effective 26 November 2003, India and Pakistan agreed to maintain a ceasefire along the undisputed international border, the disputed Line of Control, and the Siachen glacier. This is the first such "total ceasefire" declared by both powers in nearly 15 years. In February 2004, Pakistan increased pressure on Pakistanis fighting in Indian-administered Kashmir to adhere to the ceasefire. The neighbours launched several other mutual confidence-building measures. Restarting the bus service between the Indian- and Pakistani- administered Kashmir has helped defuse the tensions between the countries. Both India and Pakistan have decided to co-operate on economic fronts.

In 2005, Gen. Musharraf as well as other Pakistani sought to resolve the Kashmir issue through the Chenab Formula road map. Based on the 'Dixon Plan', the Chenab Formula assigns Ladakh to India, Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) to Pakistan; proposes plebiscite in the Kashmir Valley and splits Jammu into two-halves.[215] On 5 December 2006, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf told an Indian TV channel that Pakistan would give up its claim on Kashmir if India accepted some of his peace proposals, including a phased withdrawal of troops, self-governance for locals, no changes in the borders of Kashmir, and a joint supervision mechanism involving India, Pakistan, and Kashmir.[216] Musharraf stated that he was ready to give up the United Nations' resolutions regarding Kashmir.[217]

2008 militant attacks

In the week of 10 March 2008, 17 people were wounded when a blast hit the region's only highway overpass located near the Civil Secretariat—the seat of government of Indian-controlled Kashmir—and the region's high court. A gun battle between security forces and militants fighting against Indian rule left five people dead and two others injured on 23 March 2008. The battle began when security forces raided a house on the outskirts of the capital city of Srinagar, housing militants. The Indian Army has been carrying out cordon-and-search operations against militants in Indian-administered Kashmir since the violence broke out in 1989. While the authorities say 43,000 persons have been killed in the violence, various rights groups and non-governmental organisations have put the figure at twice that number.[218]

According to the Government of India Home Ministry, 2008 was the year with the lowest civilian casualties in 20 years, with 89 deaths, compared to a high of 1,413 in 1996.[219] 85 security personnel died in 2008 compared to 613 in 2001, while 102 militants were killed. The human rights situation improved, with only one custodial death, and no custodial disappearances. Many analysts say Pakistan's preoccupation with jihadis within its own borders explains the relative calm.[220]

2008 Kashmir protests

Massive demonstrations occurred after plans by the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir state government to transfer 100 acres (0.40 km2) of land to a trust which runs the Hindu Amarnath shrine in the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley.[221] This land was to be used to build a shelter to house Hindu pilgrims temporarily during their annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath temple.

Indian security forces and the Indian army responded quickly to keep order. More than 40 unarmed protesters were killed[222][223] and at least 300 were detained.[224] The largest protests saw more than a half million people waving Pakistani flags and crying for freedom at a rally on 18 August, according to Time magazine.[225] Pro-independence Kashmir leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq warned that the peaceful uprising could lead to an upsurge in violence if India's heavy-handed crackdown on protests was not restrained.[226] The United Nations expressed concern on India's response to peaceful protests and urged investigations be launched against Indian security personnel who had taken part in the crackdown.[49]

Separatists and workers of a political party were believed to be behind stone-pelting incidents, which led to retaliatory fire by the police.[227][228] An autorickshaw laden with stones meant for distribution was seized by the police in March 2009. Following the unrest in 2008, secessionist movements got a boost.[229][230]

2008 Kashmir elections

State elections were held in Indian-held Kashmir in seven phases, starting 17 November and finishing on 24 December 2008. In spite of calls by separatists for a boycott, an unusually high turnout of almost 50% was recorded.[231] The National Conference party, which was founded by Sheikh Abdullah and is regarded as pro-India, emerged with a majority of the seats.[232] On 30 December, the Congress Party and the National Conference agreed to form a coalition government, with Omar Abdullah as Chief Minister.[233] On 5 January 2009, Abdullah was sworn in as the eleventh Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir.[234]

In March 2009, Abdullah stated that only 800 militants were active in the state and out of these only 30% were Kashmiris.[235]

2009 Kashmir protests

In 2009, protests started over the alleged rape and murder of two young women in Shopian in South Kashmir. Suspicion pointed towards the police as the perpetrators. A judicial enquiry by a retired High Court confirmed the suspicion, but a CBI enquiry reversed their conclusion. It gave a fresh impetus to the popular agitation against India. Significantly, the unity between the separatist parties was lacking this time.[236]

2010 Kashmir Unrest

File:Protest Srinagar November 2010.jpg

Stone pelters in Srinagar, November 2010

The 2010 Kashmir unrest were series of protests in the Muslim majority Kashmir Valley in Jammu & Kashmir which started in June 2010. These protests occurred in 'Quit Jammu Kashmir Movement' launched by Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who had called for the complete demilitarisation of Jammu and Kashmir. The All Parties Hurriyat Conference made this call to protest, citing human rights abuses by Indian troops.[237][not specific enough to verify] Chief Minister Omar Abdullah attributed the 2010 unrest to the fake encounter staged by the military in Machil. Protesters shouting pro-independence slogans, defied curfew, attacked security forces with stones and burnt police vehicles and government buildings.[238][239] The Jammu and Kashmir Police and Indian Para-military forces fired live ammunition on the protesters, resulting in 112 deaths, including many teenagers. The protests subsided after the Indian government announced a package of measures aimed at defusing the tensions in September 2010.[240]

US President Obama on the conflict

In an interview with Joe Klein of Time magazine in October 2008, Barack Obama expressed his intention to try to work with India and Pakistan to resolve the crisis.[241] He said he had talked to Bill Clinton about it, as Clinton has experience being a mediator. In an editorial in The Washington Times, Selig S Harrison,[242] director of the Asia Programme at the Center for International Policy and a senior scholar of the Woodrow Wilson International, called it Obama's first foreign policy mistake.[243] In an editorial, The Australian called Obama's idea to appoint a presidential negotiator "a very stupid and dangerous move indeed".[244] In an editorial in Forbes, Reihan Salam, associate editor for The Atlantic, noted "The smartest thing President Obama could do on Kashmir is probably nothing. We have to hope that India and Pakistan can work out their differences on Kashmir on their own".[245] The Boston Globe called the idea of appointing Bill Clinton as an envoy to Kashmir "a mistake".[246] President Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke as special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan.[247] President Asif Ali Zardari hoped that Holbrooke would help mediate to resolve the Kashmir issue.[248] Subsequently Kashmir was removed from the mandate of Holbrooke.[249] "Eliminating ... Kashmir from his job description ... is seen as a significant diplomatic concession to India that reflects increasingly warm ties between the country and the United States," The Washington Post noted in a report.[250] Brajesh Mishra, India's former national security adviser, was quoted in the same report as saying that "No matter what government is in place, India is not going to relinquish control of Jammu and Kashmir". "That is written in stone and cannot be changed."[251] According to The Financial Times, India has warned Obama that he risks "barking up the wrong tree" if he seeks to broker a settlement between Pakistan and India over Kashmir.[252]

In July 2009, US Assistant Secretary of State Robert O. Blake, Jr. stated that the United States had no plans of appointing any special envoy to settle the dispute, calling it an issue which needs to be sorted out bilaterally by India and Pakistan.[253] According to Dawn this will be interpreted in Pakistan as an endorsement of India's position on Kashmir that no outside power has any role in this dispute.[254]

See also


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Further reading

  • Drew, Federic. 1877. The Northern Barrier of India: a popular account of the Jammoo and Kashmir Territories with Illustrations.&;#8221; 1st edition: Edward Stanford, London. Reprint: Light & Life Publishers, Jammu. 1971.
  • Dr. Ijaz Hussain, 1998, Kashmir Dispute: An International Law Perspective, National Institute of Pakistan Studies
  • Alastair Lamb, Kashmir: A Disputed Legacy 1846–1990 (Hertingfordbury, Herts: Roxford Books, 1991)
  • Kashmir Study Group, 1947–1997, the Kashmir dispute at fifty : charting paths to peace (New York, 1997)
  • Jaspreet Singh, Seventeen Tomatoes– an unprecedented look inside the world of an army camp in Kashmir (Vehicle Press; Montreal, Canada, 2004)
  • Navnita Behera, State, identity and violence : Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh (New Delhi: Manohar, 2000)
  • Sumit Ganguly, The Crisis in Kashmir (Washington, D.C.: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Cambridge : Cambridge U.P., 1997)
  • Sumantra Bose, The challenge in Kashmir : democracy, self-determination and a just peace (New Delhi: Sage, 1997)
  • Robert Johnson, A Region in Turmoil (London and New York, Reaktion, 2005)
  • Hans Köchler, The Kashmir Problem between Law and Realpolitik. Reflections on a Negotiated Settlement. Keynote speech delivered at the "Global Discourse on Kashmir 2008." European Parliament, Brussels, 1 April 2008.
  • Prem Shankar Jha, Kashmir, 1947: rival versions of history (New Delhi : Oxford University Press, 1996)
  • Manoj Joshi, The Lost Rebellion (New Delhi: Penguin India, 1999)
  • Alexander Evans, "Why Peace Won't Come to Kashmir", Current History (Vol 100, No 645) April 2001 p170-175.
  • Younghusband, Francis and Molyneux, E. 1917. Kashmir. A. & C. Black, London.
  • Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in Conflict I.B. Tauris, London.
  • Victoria Schofield, Kashmir in the Crossfire, I.B. Tauris, London.
  • Andrew Whitehead, A Mission in Kashmir, Penguin India, 2007
  • Muhammad Ayub, An Army; Its Role & Rule (A History of the Pakistan Army from Independence to Kargil 1947–1999). Rosedog Books, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania USA. 2005. ISBN 0-8059-9594-3
  • Kashmir Conflict, Homepage Washington Post.

External links

US Institute of Peace Report, June 2004

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